ON March 8, the Rumford Premium of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences was presented to Charles H. Townes, professor of physics at Columbia University, for his origination of the maser. Dr. Townes is the 52nd recipient of the award, which was established in 1796 by Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, and which originally consisted of “two medals struck in the same die, the one of gold, and the other of silver, and of such dimensions that both of them together may be equal in value…to three hundred dollars”. At the present time an award of five thousand dollars accompanies the medals. Count Rumford also stipulated that the recipient should be “the author of the most important discovery or useful improvement…on Heat or on Light….”

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